According to Jim Collins (“Good to Great“), a Level Five leader is self-confident enough to set up their successors for success. This implies three very important things.
First of all, it implies that the Level Five leader is most concerned with the health and success of their organization — not just personal success. There are many men and women who have achieved personal success; a Level Five leader is interested in organizational success. A Level Five leader will put the needs and interests of the group before their own. Those who do not, do not become Level Five leaders.
Secondly, a Level Five leader will not be threatened by other good leaders. Many organizations never benefit from the gifts and talents of their team because a leader is too insecure to let another person shine. A Level Five leader is competitive but the competition is not internal but external.
Finally, a Level Five leader is always looking forward — especially when it comes to leadership continuity. In business, we have seen leaders who outlasted their effectiveness. The same is true in sports. An athlete plays a few seasons after they should have retired. A Level Five leader is grooming their successor and, here is the key, for success. They know that the best testimony to a leader’s ability is what they leave behind.